VSCOCAM tutorial besottedblog.com

Hello Besotted beauties! I love the look of black backgrounds. They can be rich & theatrical, and they allow subjects to shine without any distractions. Lately, I’ve been using the VSCO Cam app on my iPhone for test shots (and for Instagram) before I haul out the dslr & tripod. I am often floored by the results, sometimes I even prefer the phone shot! Here’s my method in case you’d like to give it a try. Yes, you really can get these results too.
1// Download the VSCO Cam app.
2 // Set the stage. My set-up : Window to the right of my subject*, black stretch velvet fabric draped over a rigged up art canvas and small table. Style your subject so you are ready to take your shot.
Dark and Dramatic Phone Photos Besotted Blog
3//  Open VSCO Cam & bring up the camera. Tap the screen with 2 fingers in order to access the separate focus & exposure buttons. Exposure control is your secret weapon!
Dark Dramatic Phone Photos Besotted Blog
4//  Set your focus point, then move the exposure button to a brighter area. The app will think “hey, that’s too bright,” and cause it to darken the rest of the scene, making for deeper shadows and blacker blacks. Pull back to find that bright area if you need to, just plan on cropping out the clutter in your editing process.
5// Crop, Edit, Voila! Rich, dark & dramatic -all right from your phone.
We are always curious to see your results. If you put this tutorial to good use, share it on Instagram, with #bbdarkdramatic so we can take a peek!
*Next time I’ll share how to get this kind of glow!
Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.



  1. thanks for the tip, going to try it.

  2. Great tip! I use VSCO for all my iPhone photo editing so definitely going to have to give this a try!

    • Sara, it’s so easy – especially if you are already using VSCO. I also want to tell you I love the name of your blog! Makes me smile every time.

  3. I had no idea about the exposure tap! This is going to change everything. Thanks so much for sharing, can’t wait to try it out.

  4. Wow That is so cool! Thank you for sharing! I think I just purchased a million filters so that all my pics could look dark and moody but I love learning the “real” way!

  5. Ooh I can’t wait to try this!

  6. Wonderful tutorial. Thanks for sharing. =)

  7. I’m downloading this app and your tutorial is very helpful! Thank you.

  8. Check out my blog and follow if you like, it would mean a lot to me. Thaaanks <3

    xx Nika

    Nika’s Beauty Land

  9. I just downloaded that app a while ago. I’m going to have to try this out.

  10. This is gorgeous. I can hardly wait to try it out. Thanks for the inspiration and instruction.

  11. Great idea! I’m totally trying this.

  12. Brilliant tips. Thank you!

  13. Its great isn’t it!? I’ve gotten some fab results from it this year for my 365 project :)

    I’ll be adding the #bbdarkdramatic to my Instagram images that apply

  14. This is a very helpful tip! I am so hyped to try! What is the measurement for the fabric if I may ask? :)

  15. This is a very helpful tip! I am so hyped to try! What is the measurement for the fabric if I may ask? :) Thank you so much!

  16. Love this! Downloaded the app. It says it wants my VSCO URL. Huh??? No idea what that is. I don’t have one.

    • Tristan B. says:

      Hi Jo-

      It’s a free app maybe that’s something new in order to download or if you already successfully downloaded you may be trying to access the grid. I don’t have a VSCO url and can use it fine:)

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